Three Hundred Years Hence

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Three Hundred Years Hence
Camperdown 1836.jpg
First edition title page
Author Mary Griffith
CountryUnited States
Genre Utopian Science fiction novel
Publisher Prime Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback)
ISBN 978-1514738016
OCLC 3253783

Three Hundred Years Hence is a utopian science fiction novel by author Mary Griffith, published in 1836. It is the first known utopian novel written by an American woman. [1] The novel was originally published in 1836 as part of Griffith's collection, Camperdown, or News from Our Neighborhood, and later published by Prime Press in 1950 in an edition of 300 copies.


Plot introduction

The novel concerns a hero who falls into a deep sleep and awakens in the Utopian states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.


Writers of utopian fiction generally need to set their imagined societies either in a remote place (as in Sir Thomas More's original Utopia and many imitators), or in a different time. Griffith was the earliest American writer to project her protagonist into the future to encounter a vastly improved social order. Many successors would follow her example; most famously, Edward Bellamy used the same trick in his Looking Backward (1888), as did many of the writers who produced sequels and responses to his work. The same tactic is exploited in John Macnie's The Diothas (1883), W. H. Hudson's A Crystal Age (1887), Elizabeth Corbett's New Amazonia (1889), Bradford Peck's The World a Department Store (1900), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Moving the Mountain (1911), and other works.

Another, later book, published in 1881 by William Delisle Hay, was given the same title (Three Hundred Years Hence or A Voice From Posterity), probably in ignorance of Griffith's earlier but then-obscure work.

Critical reception

Reviewing the 1950 edition, Boucher and McComas characterized the novel as "an odd and delightful item of 1836 dealing with a strongly feminist future.". [2]

Publication history


  1. Suksang, Duangrudi (2000-01-01). "Mary Griffith's Pioneering Vision: Three Hundred Years Hence". Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  2. "Recommended Reading," F&SF , December 1950, p.104

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